$AMRS When you link each Amyris molecule to the biosynthesis through which it was created, a detailed picture of the platform emerges. Squalene shares commonalities with artemisinin (terpenes) and vanillin can be linked to cannabinoids (Type II PKS). It is a feature of another series of molecules that has caught my attention recently: glycosylation - relevant for Reb-M, HMOs, and antibodies. Glycosylation describes attachment of a sugar molecule to a substrate molecule. This is challenging to control, because sugars come in many forms, and they need to be attached in a specific way to a specific place. Amyris has quietly demonstrated mastery of this, which expands the scope of molecules it can target. Possibilities include the adjuvant QS-21, the anti-cancer agent doxorubicin, the antibiotic vancomycin, and dietary flavonoids, to name a (very) few. From a technology perspective, we’ve come a long way from the monolithic biofuel days. My bet is that the economics will soon follow.
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